So unconventionally I’m going to time hop and bring us all to today! As you have all probably realised I’m pretty out of date with everything so far but I’ve just been spending time with such lovely people I haven’t had a chance to sit and write. Anyway, I shall scuttle back to the last post over the next few days and bring the route up to date but for the time being I have some news…
I’m exhausted after everything and just don’t have the energy to sit and explain everything properly but basically don’t worry I’m ok! I’m very stiff and am not altogether convinced I’m going to be able to walk tomorrow but we’ll see!!!
I’ll add to this post properly as soon as I can.
Lots of love for now! Time to sleep! xxx
Righto – here I am again! I’ve had a day off in the motel in New Roads today so I’m feeling a bit better and will try and explain everything a bit more now.
As I mentioned in the video yesterday, my day was a day of headwind. It started out fairly weak in the morning but just got stronger and stronger throughout the day at seemingly the same rate as which my route was leading me into it! I left my fabulous host Mark around 8am and by 4pm I was really tired. I knew I was only a few miles out from the town where I was hoping to stay and I had my head down and was pedalling with as much energy as I could muster in an attempt to get the day over and done with!
Although since leaving Florida the roads have been getting worse and worse, for most of the day I had been on a hard shoulder which admittedly was not always the smoothest but it was a hard shoulder none the less. During the last 5 miles however the shoulder had turned to gravel and eventually became impossible to cycle on and so I had been forced moved onto the side of the road.
Whilst riding along, suddenly and very unexpectedly I saw white in the corner of my eye, heard a crash and found myself falling towards the floor. I do remember, as if in slow motion, shouting “Ohhhhh Noooooo” as I was falling which I suspect would be rather funny if played back! I also remember thinking, “Ah man, hitting the ground is going to hurt”. Well, it did!
I suppose as would be expected it was pretty confusing afterwards. My hip was immediately sore as I suspect that’s where the wing mirror had struck me and also where I must have taken most of the impact on the ground. I was totally awake and not knocked out at all luckily but felt a bit… well weird to be honest… and I couldn’t really stand up properly. I was immediately worried about the bike and picked it up, put it on it’s stand and started to check it over when an off duty police officer who had been in the car behind came running over. He was a bit of a star really and called an ambulance as well as getting the driver of the car that had hit me over. I realised I didn’t make that clear in the video but he did stop and was incredibly sorry and pretty shaken up himself. To be honest I was starting to feel sorry for him by the end of it all… wandering around holding his broken wing mirror!
After a while the ambulance turned up and out jumped the very friendly firefighter Bobby, who I had actually had a chat with earlier that day when he refilled my water bottles. “I had hoped it wasn’t going to be you” he said as he came over and he looked after me until the paramedics arrived. He was very kind and even called the hospital later that evening to offer to put me up at the fire station and drive me west the following morning. Thanks so much Bobby!
So anyway, to cut a long story short, I was taken to hospital for a puncture wound on my leg which as you all probably know I think was from my tent poles (as my friend Dan says, an unusual injury!) and I was stitched up, patched up and sent on my way. I was incredibly lucky really and can only be relieved that all I suffered was a cut leg and a broken pannier rack as I know that it could have been a lot worse. I have learnt some important lessons, particularly to try to start and finish my rides earlier and thus avoid riding west into a low winters sun and to, no matter how tired I am, keep using my mirror obsessively. Oh and of course, hard shoulders are my ultimate friend!
As for the driver, I shook his hand before I left and didn’t leave on bad terms. Accidents happen and I don’t think that, unlike every other driver in America, he was on his phone (texting or I suspect in a lot of cases on the internet). I abhor that emerging culture of suing people for every penny you can and approaching every scenario with the mindset of “what can I get out of this”. I’m not saying that he wasn’t to fault but I suppose your perspective is realigned when something like this happens. I was ok, the bike was ok and I could see how upset he was. I just hope that he has learnt his lessons as I have and he never lets it happen again.
Having said that – if he had been on his phone I would have gone crazy. NEVER DRIVE WITH YOUR PHONE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!! I can’t tell you how many people pass me looking down at a small lit up screen with one hand on the wheel and no eyes on the road. They don’t seem to comprehend that a mistake when passing me at 60mph may only be a mistake for them but could be a life for me. Man it makes me so angry. A lesson for all of us I hope.
Finally, after such an emotional day I slept like a log only to wake this morning to find this gem waiting for me on my phone… I guess if you’re having a bad day, someone else’s is always worse, in this case my lil’ sister:
I can’t tell you how much I wish she’d walked round to a warehouse full of blokes with that thong (yep it was a thong!) still stuck to her boot. Oh jeez it makes me cry with laughter every time I think about it!!!!!